‘This Is Us’: Chrissy Metz on Being a ’10 Year Overnight Success’

This Is Us - Season 1, GG2017.NOMS
Ron Batzdorff/NBC
THIS IS US -- Pilot -- Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate --

Here are a few reasons we love This Is Us‘ scene stealer Chrissy Metz.

Who She Plays

Kate, one member of the sibling trio on NBC’s new dramedy This Is Us. “She’s loyal and loving but puts others first, to her own detriment,” Metz says. Over the course of the season, Kate will struggle to lose weight and regain her sense of self-worth—plus tackle some major intimacy issues with her boyfriend, Toby (Chris Sullivan). During this week’s episode, she continues to grapple with feelings about the new relationship. “Toby constantly does amazing things for Kate, but she still can’t believe he cares for her,” says Metz.

Where You’ve Seen Her Before

Donning a prosthetic suit to appear larger on American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Why We Love Her

Because her nuanced, multidimensional portrayal—shifting seamlessly between humor and despair, vulnerability and rigidness—perfectly captures her character as a work in progress. “Chrissy is such a vibrant, funny person. She’s like an old-time movie star, and she brings that to Kate, who’s more reserved,” says creator Dan Fogelman. “You feel that light waiting to burst to the surface.”

It’s About Time

“It’s taken 10 years in the business for me to be an overnight success,” Metz says. Once American Horror Story wrapped, she had to return to her former gig working at a talent agency to pay the bills. “It was humbling. Watching actors booking jobs every day for a year and a half was so hard,” she says. “Of course my heart was full for them, but there was this constant feeling of ‘Waa-waaah.’”

When the audition for This Is Us came along, she says, “It was nerve-racking because this role was the mecca for me.” Metz got the news that she’d landed it while sitting in the car after leaving her second screen test. “Calling her in the parking lot was probably my favorite part of the entire casting process,” Fogelman says. “She screamed a lot.”

This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC